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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014
Hitting the high notes
Hindustan Times
November 25, 2012
First Published: 22:20 IST(25/11/2012)
Last Updated: 22:24 IST(25/11/2012)

To say that Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is a performer is an understatement. From politics to art, Ms Banerjee displays her dazzling and varied talent whenever she gets an opportunity. Only last week, we saw the CM sharing the dais with the daughter and wife of famous composer Salil Chowdhury on the occasion of his birth anniversary. While the mother-daughter duo coaxed the chief minister to be the lead singer for the evening, Didi being the modest soul that she is opted to lend her voice to the chorus. In fact, her love for the arts is well-known. When the land acquisition battle against the Left was at its zenith, Didi was seen calmly standing on a dais painting. Then when the Trinamool Congress performed badly in the parliamentary elections, Ms Banerjee took to poetry. Truly, as Shelly wrote, our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

With such an artistic CM at the helm, it was only a matter of time before she tried to inculcate a love for the arts in others. So last week, the Bengal government recommended the introduction of performing arts courses in undergraduate and post-graduate studies in state-aided universities, something even the Left had not thought of doing. Of course, she did not bother to fix the existing problems that higher educational institutions are facing like lack of funds and staff. But then creative geniuses cannot be helmed in by such mundane matters. Usually starting another course is the prerogative of the executive council of the institutions. But who is to argue with Mamatadi who is not one to take too kindly to being thwarted?

The state may have all sorts of problems like rural poverty and unemployment, but thanks to our Didi, people can now face their troubles with a song on their lips and a spring in their step.


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